Sometimes people ask, how big should my Crossfire terrain be? It is really up to you. For myself, I started Crossfire using whatever terrain I had, but over the years I have standardised on the sizes. This is to make it easier to Draw Maps for Crossfire Scenarios. Check out the various Crossfire terrain type if you don’t recognise some of those I mention.
Steven’s Standard Area Terrain Templates
I have a standard set of area terrain features in my Crossfire maps. The sizes are:
- 4″x4″ (100mm x 100mm)
- 4″x6″ (100mm x 150mm)
- 4″x8″ (100mm x 200mm)
- 6″x6″ (150mm x 150mm)
- 6″x8″ (150mm x 200mm)
- 8″x8″ (200mm x 200mm)
Notice these dimensions increase in consistent 2″ (50mm) increments.
There is a logic to why I started at 4″x4″ and ended at 8″x8″.
Why the smallest is 4″x4″ (100mm x 100mm): Because the guidance from Crossfire (CF4.4) is that an area terrain feature should be large enough to contain 4-6 stands. 4″x4″ is enough to get four stands comfortably with a bit of space. Four stands is normal sized rifle platoon with three squads and a PC. The same feature can hold six stands if you quibble over where the middle of the stand is. A terrain feature 100mm across is 100 metres in my nominal ground scale in Crossfire of 1:1000. So my smallest patch of woods is 100 metres across. That is still quite big.
Why the largest is 8″x8″ (200mm x 200mm): I view Crossfire’s guidance (CF4.4) on 4-6 stands for an area terrain feature as a minimum, with larger pieces being allowed. Although I’m keen on standardising, I do need some variety otherwise my tables will get very boring. I’ve gone for 8″x8″ as the maximum size because it more or less fills up a 12″x12″ (300mm x 300mm) sector on table and still leaves a gap around the edge. This is a feature 200 metres across in my nominal ground scale in Crossfire of 1:1000. Of course real world terrain is bigger than that. But large terrain features in the real world are simulated by small Crossfire features clustered together. So really I never need a feature larger than 8″x8″.
My area terrain features are either circles/ovals or squares/rectangles depending on the type of Crossfire terrain. But regardless of the shape, I use the same standard dimensions.
By the way, if you didn’t realise already, you’ll need a lot of terrain. Crossfire suggests you aim to have 1/3 of the table being covered by features. So you’ll have about 50 terrain features on a 4′ x 4′ table, and 75 on a 6′ x 4′ table.
Woods Rough Ground, Rock Fields, Boulder Fields
Woods, Rough Ground, Rock Fields, Boulder Fields all use the same circular/oval terrain templates. I have a very easy method for making simple terrain templates for wargaming.
With those templates I can just plonk scatter terrain on top of the correct type i.e. trees for woods features, brush or marsh for rough ground, rocks for rock fields, and boulders for boulder fields. Check out Making boulder and rock fields for Crossfire – it isn’t hard.
If you are a bit more adventurous then try out Brett’s Crafting trees using wire, steel wool, and flock.
Hills in standard Crossfire
I have different hill features because, well, they are higher. But I use the same standard sizes mentioned above.
Fields and orchards
My “fields” features get used for both fields and orchards. These are either square or rectangles. I just plonk fruit trees on the fields to make an orchard. I have some guidance on Making Field Features for Crossfire.
For urban battles I’ve standardised on 3″x3″ (75mm x 75mm) for building features – see Generic Building Sectors for Crossfire. This is the minimum internal footprint to get two squads and a platoon commander inside.
For battles in the country side, I tend to use individual buildings which are rectangular. The models vary, but on my maps I assume all of them are 2¾”x 3¾” (70mm x 95mm). That reflects the typical size of commercial models.
Admittedly, when I make my own buildings for Crossfire, I make them smaller (65mm x 85mm) to align with my 75mm x 75mm squares.
I have other shapes and sizes, but all this fancy stuff came later. I lived without it for years and so can you. But if you are interested, I have fields that are triangles and irregular polygons – see Making Field Features for Crossfire. I have buildings that are triangles. I have area bigger area terrain templates i.e. 6″x10″ (150mm x 250mm), 6″x12″ (150mm x 300mm), and 8″x10″ (200mm x 250mm).